EPL

Guardiola: It is a 'dream come true' to be fighting for Premier League title again

By Sports Desk April 27, 2024

Pep Guardiola says it is a "dream come true" to be fighting for the Premier League title once again as his Manchester City side prepare to take on Nottingham Forest at the City Ground on Sunday.

City head into this weekend in second, one point behind leaders Arsenal with a game in hand as Liverpool continue to falter. The Gunners play before Guardiola's men on Sunday, travelling to take on fierce rivals Tottenham, and any slip-up could allow City to move top of the table.

City are on the hunt for a sixth Premier League title in seven seasons, and though Guardiola's men have been in the fight at the summit so often in recent times, the chance to win top-flight silverware again has not lost its appeal.

"Of course, all the teams in the [title race] are tired," Guardiola told reporters. "It's normal at the end of the season.

"But at the same time, it's so exciting. Fighting again for the Premier League? It's a dream come true.

"I could not expect it, honestly. I know always you dream to be there."

At the other end of the table, Forest are fighting for their Premier League lives, a battle not aided by dubious officiating decisions in the 2-0 defeat at Everton last weekend.

The controversial loss leaves Forest heading into their tough fixture this weekend just a point above the drop zone with four games to play.

In his pre-match press conference for the City game, Forest head coach Nuno Espirito Santo was still fuming about the refereeing against the Toffees, saying: "I still can’t quite believe how the decisions went against us.

"It has a big impact as it eventually means points, it means frustration and disappointment. It feels like it’s always against us."

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Nottingham Forest – Morgan Gibbs-White

Gibbs-White has been involved in four goals in his last three Premier League home games (two goals, two assists). Indeed, since Forest's return to the top-flight last season, Gibbs-White has been involved in 19 goals at the City Ground, at least eight more than any other player (eight goals, 11 assists). City will have to keep a watchful eye on the former Wolves man.

Manchester City – Phil Foden

It had already been Foden's best league scoring season of his career before the City youth product netted his 15th and 16th Premier League goals of the campaign to help his side to a 4-0 victory at Brighton on Thursday. He has been absolutely crucial for City this term, and he could be the man to help unlock the Forest door this weekend for another huge three points in the title race.

MATCH PREDICTION – MAN CITY WIN

City are looking to complete their first league double over Forest since the 1999-00 campaign in the second tier, and their first in the top-flight since 1990-91.

However, Forest have lost just three of their last 16 top-flight home games against City (10 wins, three draws), going down 2-0 in 1985, 3-1 in 1990 and 2-0 in 1993.

They have been strong at home of late, too, unbeaten in their last three at the City Ground despite winning just one of their last nine Premier League outings.

It will have to be an almighty effort to topple City, however, especially considering Forest have kept just one clean sheet in their last 23 Premier League games, with that coming via a 2-0 win over West Ham in February.

City have lost both of their Premier League games in the Midlands so far this season, going down 2-1 at Wolves and 1-0 at Aston Villa. However, they last lost three consecutive such visits to the Midlands between March and December 2008, and with the title on the line, it is hard to see past them as strong favourites to pick up the three points on Sunday.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

Forest: 10.8%

Man City: 69.3%

Draw: 19.9%

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